Published on January 2nd, 2019 | by Natalie Salvo
Of Mice & Men DVD Review
Summary: This story about two great friends and a tragedy is one that implores you to feel. It’s amazing stuff.
The world can be a cruel place, as “Of Mice & Men” shows. The film is a faithful adaptation of John Steinbeck’s novella. It isn’t the first time this was adapted for the screen and it may not be the last; but this taut, emotional film is one that grabs you by the scuff of the neck and implores you to feel.
Gary Sinise (“Forest Gump”) has many roles here. He directs this film, as well as stars as George Milton. The character is a kind-hearted man who is friends with a large, mentally-challenged bloke named Lennie Small (John Malkovich). Milton protects and cares for Lennie. Together their relationship is larger than the sum of its parts.
This film is adapted for the screen by writer, Horton Foote. He adds some additional elements to the story without detracting from the central plot. This includes fleshing out the character of Curley’s wife (Sherilyn Fenn (“Twin Peaks”)). At its core, this film is about two men who are drifters. They often get themselves into trouble because Lennie is a curious man who can’t help himself; but despite this, the audience will want to root for him.
The pair dream of buying their own patch of land. Lennie aspires to have his own small flock of rabbits that he can tend to. It sounds like bliss, especially to fellow farmhand, Candy (Ray Walston) whose only company is a feeble, old dog.
The setting is the Great Depression, and Lennie and George work hard on the land. It’s honest work for an honest buck. They try to keep out of mischief but the boss’ son Curley (Casey Siemaszko) is angered by Lennie. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that Curley has a beautiful but lonely vixen for a wife. We all know how this is going to end.
This film is a buddy story. It explores some deep themes like: racism, isolation and resilience. Malkovich is absolutely mesmerising as Lennie. You often forget that this guy is acting, you are so caught up in his gentle and childish stammer. Malkovich and Sinise had shared the stage together before, so the chemistry between the two characters is utterly believable.
The bonus material is quite comprehensive and entertaining. It includes a trailer, screen and make-up tests, and deleted scenes. There is also a featurette, an intriguing in-conversation with Sinise and Foote, and a director’s commentary with the former.
“Of Mice & Men” is one strong, tragic and resonant story. Viewers are presented with some terrible misunderstandings and likeable characters (for the most part). This rises to a head in a rousing crescendo in the form of an especially tough moral quandary. This kind of film is one that gives you pause for thought, because this dama is like a visceral punch to the heart.
Director – Gary Sinise
Actors – John Malkovich, Gary Sinise
Film Genre – Drama
Label – Madman Entertainment
Audio – English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Running Time – 111
Aspect ratio – 1.78:1
Region Coding – 4
TV Standard – PAL
Rating – M
Consumer Advice – Low Level Violence
Year of Release – 1992
Primary Format – Movies/TV – DVD